Get some nuts … and supercharge your sperm

Experts said the study backed up others that showed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and the B vitamin folate improved fertility.

After the 14-week experiment, the men who added nuts to their diet were found to have increased their sperm count by 14 percent, their sperm vitality by four percent, and sperm movement by six percent.

Scientists made the claim after conducting a randomised trial which measured conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over 14 weeks. The decline has been linked to factors including pollution, smoking, and unhealthy aspects of the Western-style diet, the study authors said.

Results found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology in the men randomized to the 60 g/day nut diet than in those following their usual diets free of nuts.

Infertility affects around 11 per cent of women and nine per cent of men of a reproductive age in the US.

In General they are divided in 110 healthy men aged 18 to 35 years into two groups, says the American journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The findings "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality", the researchers said.

Nuts contain many of these and other nutrients.

Improvements in the first group were about 16% in sperm count, 4% in sperm vitality, 6% in sperm mobility, and 1% in morphology.

Dr. Salas-Huetos pointed out that the results of the study can not necessarily be applied to the general population, considering that the male subjects were all healthy and fertile men who followed a western-style diet.

"Evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception", said Dr Albert Salas-Huetos, from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Spain, who led the study.

All of these are the parameters the World Health Organization lists as measurements of sperm quality and are associated with male fertility.

The study recorded not just sperm parameters but also changes in several molecular factors, including sperm DNA fragmentation.

According to Salas-Huetos one of the limitations of the study was the inclusion of healthy males with normal fertility. A handful of nuts every day will go a long way in improving male fertility. In a press release, he stresses that the results may not necessarily apply to the general population, since all of the study participants were healthy and fertile.